Standhardinger powers Brgy. Ginebra to come-from-behind win over Meralco

Christian Standhardinger displayed the form that made him the Best Player of the Conference three seasons ago and powered Brgy. Ginebra over Meralco, 112-107, Wednesday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The 33-year Fil-German, working double time to cover up for the absence of frontcourt buddy Japeth Aguilar due to an MCL injury, scattered 31 points with 10 coming in the payoff period to go with 10 rebounds and 7 assists in 40 minutes of play. He shot 13-of-18 from the field for a high 72% clip while draining 5-of-10 freebies.

The Gin Kings trailed from the get-go and entered the final frame down by 4, 76-80, before coming alive when it mattered the most. The Tim Cone-mentored squad outscored their opponents, 36-27, to register their 5th win and 7 starts and move up to solo 3rd in the team standings.

The Bolts, on the other hand, absorbed their 4th loss in 9 outings and slid down to 6th spot behind idle NLEX and Converge.

“I’m so amazed. I mean, I expected Justin to make the important shots, I’m almost disappointed if he doesn’t make the important shots,” said Standhardinger during the post-game presser.

“But looking at Miah coming out there, struggling a little bit in the first half, and then the very important good passes and shots, he made them all,” he added.

Justin Brownlee, who just two nights ago dropped 41 points in Gilas Pilipinas’ home loss to Jordan, scored 29 in 44 minutes of action. The naturalized Filipino also finished with 7 rebounds, 6 assists and a block. Jamie Malonzo added 16 points while Jeremiah Gray and Nards Pinto chipped in 12 markers apiece.

“The guys, I think instinctively, they just tighten the reins a little bit more. They made a couple of big shots. They just stepped up on their own and made big plays,” said Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

“We also said that in this game, we would need other people to rely on, we’re going to rely on other people. And lo and behold, Nards, Miah, Christian, they were the three key guys that played tonight and played well.”

After a day off, the Gin Kings will clash with the surging Phoenix Fuel Masters on Friday, March 3, 5:45pm at the same venue.

The scores:

Brgy. Ginebra 112 – Standhardinger 31, Brownlee 29, Malonzo 16, Gray 12, Pinto 12, Thompson 7, Pringle 5, Dillinger 0.

Meralco 107 – McDaniels 28, Maliksi 23, Newsome 15, Black 14, Hodge 10, Quinto 10, Banchero 5, Almazan 2, Caram 0, Jose 0.

Quarterscores: 32-37, 54-61, 76-80, 112-107.

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